Ana lives just outside Washington DC with her very supportive husband and three rather demanding cats. She loves the ocean, Indian food, Ikea, and cooking. Ana admits to watching too much television and she swears that someday she’s going to learn how to play the guitar resting on the bookshelf in her office.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Ana: I went to college in Vermont and love it there. So Vermont was a natural place for me to set a story and since I was using a setting that was close to my heart, I chose a trope that particularly appeals to me as well, friends-to-lovers. I was friends with my now husband for a decade before we ever dated. I sometimes laugh at that, but that deep friendship is such a nice basis for a romantic relationship. He’s who I would want to hang out with even if we hadn’t fallen in love. The couple in A Late Thaw have that too.
Jen: What what age did you discover writing? Tell us your call story.
Ana: I think I was about twenty seven when I discovered fiction writing. I’d always enjoyed expository writing. I was an editor on both my high school and college newspapers, but I never really tried my hand at creative writing. I basically woke up one day with a story that needed to be put down on paper (or, as in my case, a screen) and so I gave it a shot. It was just a short story and not nearly good enough to share now, but at the time I posted it at an online forum and got a bunch of positive feedback. After that, I was hooked.
Jen: Describe your writing in 3 words.
Ana: Funny. Sweet. Romantic.
I am a big fan of classic romantic comedies. I’m talking about all those movies with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks or Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. They’re all pretty straight forward, take two likeable people and let them fall in love while silly stuff happens around them. I think my love of that basic idea shows a lot in my writing. I try to put my own spin on the classic tropes and I definitely have my own voice, but I think I write pretty classic romantic comedies (with a modern dose of heat!).
Jen: How do you remember ideas that come to you at odd times?
Ana: I have a writing notebook. It’s a classic black moleskin with frayed edges and it’s filled with scribbles and bad handwriting. If I don’t have my notebook, I’ve been known to make notes on my phone using the Evernote app.
Jen: Is there a genre you’d like to write? Is there one you’ll probably stay away from? Why?
Ana: I’d love to have a great idea for an urban fantasy series. I read a lot in that genre, so it would feel like home I think. I’d say that I can’t see myself writing mystery novels or really anything that is more focused on the plot than on the characters. For me, stories are about people.
Jen: How do you come up with characters names?
Ana: I love naming characters. I search through baby naming websites and consider the meaning of names and how they sound together. For A Late Thaw, I went with Cole because it is an old English name. It’s classic and masculine and the kind of name his parents, long time Vermont farmers, would choose. Kiley is an Irish name that I think has become more popular in the United States over the past couple of decades. It’s got a bit more of a modern feel, which works for Kiley. It also means graceful which both Kiley and I find ironic.
They both have surnames (Thomas and St. Claire) that make sense for the demographics of Vermont. I also liked the two “K” sounds together when you name them as a couple-Kiley and Cole. Don’t they sound like a couple on the way to your barbecue? Kiley and Cole are bringing dessert!
Jen: What’s next for you?
Ana: I have a couple projects that I’m currently working on. One is a contemporary New Adult romance and the other is a vampire-filled paranormal romance. I switch back and forth based on mood.